One of the nice takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld I should have written about earlier was getting to know a bit more about its community of Oracle Aces. It is "designed to recognize and reward members of the Oracle Technology and Applications communities for their contributions to those communities. These individuals are technically proficient ... and willingly share their knowledge and experiences."
Currently it recognizes around 100 Oracle practitioners around the world at end user sites or implementation partners. I had a chance to meet a few like Floyd Teter, who works for Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA, Eddie Awad, who works for ESCO in Portland, OR and Ameed Taylor, who runs Applation.They are active in helping the worldwide Oracle community with their expertise. Oracle, in turn, smartly recognizes them and organizes appreciation dinners at its conferences.
I found them refreshingly honest about the joys and frustrations of working with Oracle. But they are also loyal to Oracle. On my blog about Oracle's Missed Opportunity to tell more about Fusion, Floyd commented " Missed opportunity? Probably, but there will be others...like Collaborate 08." To which I responded "...it is wonderful you are still patient even after 3 years of promises...hope Oracle is nice back to customers like you..."
If I could re-do my agenda during the OOW event I would have arranged to meet more of these Aces. As Floyd says there will be other opportunities. But Oracle customers should not wait for the next big event to leverage this community, a large proportion of which also blogs on various technical topics.